Serbia needs new constitution now, Yugoslavia's president says

Serbia urgently needs a new constitution, President Vojislav Kostunica of Yugoslavia told a conference here today and added that the constitutional assembly, which can express the will of the people, should adopt it. The conference, which was organized by the center of liberal-democratic studies, deals with the new Serbian constitution. In his opinion, new parliamentary elections should be appointed after the election of the constitutional assembly and the approval of the new constitution because the constitutional assembly can't function as a parliament. Therefore the approval of a new constitution by the incumbent Serbian parliament on the basis of a wide-ranging partisan consensus, or an all-out consensus (what seems to be even better), would be the most rational decision, Kostunica stressed.

One can justify everything but lack of readiness to change the very foundations of the previous regime, Kostunica went on to say. Only those, who don't want to see any division of power, as well as its limitation, in the republic, oppose the new constitution and will continue to do so, Kostunica noted.

Serbian authorities, who oppose the new constitution, want to prevent an unpleasant post-election situation, Kostunica stressed. Consequently, the present-day constitutional impasse is being justified by the need for continued reforms, which might be disrupted by elections after the constitution's approval. Still this is not so.

Those opposing a new constitution claim that the relevant procedure for amending the constitution is very complicated; however, such an explanation holds no water, Kostunica noted. According to the Yugoslav leader, this explanation implies that the present-day constitution can't be changed in any way. This, in turn, means that it's impossible to do away with the previous political and constitutional system.

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